May 29, 2024

Table of Contents

As mentors with SCORE, we get many questions about how long and detailed a business plan should be. To answer this question, it may be helpful to think of business plans in two categories:

1) Traditional business plan: Think of this as a many-pages business plan. This type of plan is very detailed, takes more time to write, and is comprehensive. Lenders and investors commonly request this plan

2) The lean startup business plan: Think of this as a one-page business plan. This type of plan is high-level focus, fast to write, and contains key elements only. Some lenders and investors may ask for more information. This article will focus on this type of plan.

Paul Krecke

Lean startup format

You might prefer a lean startup format if you want to explain or start your business quickly, your business is relatively simple, or you plan to regularly change and refine your business plan. Lean startup formats are charts that use only a handful of elements to describe your company’s value proposition, infrastructure, customers, and finances. They’re useful for visualizing tradeoffs and fundamental facts about your company. There are different ways to develop a lean startup template. You can search the web to find free templates to build your business plan.

We discuss nine components of a model business plan as follows.

Key partnerships: Note the other businesses or services you’ll work with to run your business. Think about suppliers, manufacturers, subcontractors, and similar strategic partners.